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Roxy Music - Roxy Music CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

4.05 | 274 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars A wonderfully twisted take on the dominant musical scenes of the early 70s.

Roxy Music's self-titled debut album feels as much as a send-up as a tribute to glam rock, prog rock, rock'n'roll and raw, sluggish near proto-punk ideals. And out of this suave, stylish and idiosyncratic colour burst comes some truly magnificent music. Such unabashedly unapologetic flights of fancy and near limitless imagination make Roxy Music a force to be reckoned with right from the start.

The album is defined by a twisted muse where deconstruction and reconstruction play pivotal roles in reshaping and remodelling melodies, textures, rhythms and whole genres into something altogether new. Somewhat distanced, with a lovely attitude of laissez-faire and pure fun, it never comes across as either forced or sloppy, which one might expect. What the band does so well is adhering to often pretty simple underlying structures (in a relative sense) and still come across as bravely experimenting and rule-breaking, a feat that shouldn't be underestimated. The greatness shines most brightly in the friction. Speaking of that, there's also another surface of friction here - that between the more sleek and melodious songs (with pretty piano, Mellotron and easy-going guitar) and the wild, uncontrolled freak-out fests that I like best (sweaty, apocalyptic and primal efforts with icing of crazy inspiration).

Brian Eno's weird electronic experimentation and keys bubbles and soars, whether in the background or up front and more often than not they have their own life, but there's a more disciplined and tame side to his work as well, showcasing a great sense of melody. Phil Manzanera's guitar delivers sweet melodies as well as atonal wailing and is always delivering with a wonderful tension. The same can be said about the sturdier sounds of Andy Mackay's saxophone work. Bryan Ferry delivers the words in a crooning, warbling, high-strung way, guaranteed to drive some people away from the band at first, but an essential part of the experience.

Impressive as it is, the band will become even better on albums to come; playing tighter and a bit more interesting music, but nothing they've ever done beats this one in terms of joyful insanity.

To sum it up, the albums simply a wonderful, bubbling cauldron of post-modernist inspiration. If you want to hear something that slaughters the familiar while still paying homage to it, look no further.

4 stars.


LinusW | 4/5 |


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